Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said construction and dredging works at the port would generate up to 155 jobs for about six months.
“We are calling for expressions of interest from suitably qualified companies to undertake the dredging works and construct the dredged material containment ponds required to expand the Port of Abbot Point,” Dr Lynham said.
“The great majority of this workforce is expected to be sourced locally and these workers will be housed in towns around Abbot Point, including Bowen, providing a much-needed economic boost to these communities.
“In the meantime, work is steadily progressing on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).”
Abbot Point, 25 km north-west of Bowen, currently has a capacity of 50 million tonnes per annum. The proposed expansion will increase capacity by 70 million tonnes per annum to cater for additional coal from the Galilee basin, including Adani Mining’s proposed Carmichael Mine.
Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to a balanced approach to delivering vital infrastructure for Queensland’s economic future and protecting the environment, including the Great Barrier Reef.
“That’s why we canned the Newman Government’s plan to dump dredge spoil in the Caley Valley Wetlands and will instead place dredged material on unused industrial land next to the existing coal terminal,” he said.
Dr Lynham said North Queensland Bulk Ports would engage a contractor after all approvals were obtained, including from the Commonwealth Government on the EIS.
New plan to dump dredge spoil from Abbot Point
The Queensland government has moved to stop dredge spoil from a north Queensland coal terminal being dumped on wetlands or at sea as previously proposed.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Wednesday a new agreement between the government and major proponents Adani and GVK over the dumping of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion.
Ms Palaszczuk says the agreement will see spoil dumped on land, known as T2, next to the existing terminal – not on the Caley Valley wetlands or within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The previous state government was criticised for both the wetlands and reef proposals.
“We will withdraw the applications and present a new application centred on the T2 site,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“T2 is the only remaining unallocated industrial land at the Port and the only responsible way to proceed with the Abbot Point development to ensure it is ready for future exports from the Galilee Basin.”
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham says capital dredging costs will not be taxpayer-funded.
“We will ensure that approvals costs will be met by Galilee Basin proponents, with capital dredging costs to be paid for by the proponents to the Galilee Basin projects,” Dr Lynham said.